Googling life, failure, and fear

Next up in my #BeFearless series, is my friend Drew Myers. I first connected with Drew online, over baseball and our shared love of advocacy. I met him in person when we volunteered for a Back on My Feet event in Philly, and the rest is history. You can read more from Drew at his blog, Defining Audacity

I’ve always wanted to write about “using” Google – keep up with my searches over a certain amount of time and blog about it. I thought it would be a unique and interesting peek behind my metaphorical curtain:

– What am I curious about?

– What’s on my mind?

– What interests me?

– What confuses me?

As a retired stay-at-home dad, who is trying to change the world one blog post at a time, I type some interesting things into the Google search bar:

• Teach your toddler to spit

• How do you know if your car seat is installed correctly?

• How often should a toddler poop?

Besides tips on daddyhood, I’m constantly searching for inspirational blog fodder online. Here’s a good search example that resulted in the inspiration for this post:

“What are people’s biggest fears?”

After typing this into Google in order to quench my curiosity, I stumbled upon a one-off list that made me take notice. It was 33 things considered people’s “most common fears.”

Some of the notable and non-surprising phobias:

– Flying (No. 1)

– Heights (No. 3)

– Spiders (No. 9)

– Needles (No. 16)

The most amazing realization to me was the fact I wasn’t scared of ANYTHING on this list (for some reason rodents and mascots didn’t make the Top 33). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a huge fan of rejection (No. 8), snakes (No. 15) or clowns (No. 22) – but I’m not “scared” of those things.

There was one item on the list that actually made me confidently smirk: Fear of failure (No. 7).

Because of my deep faith, I’m not scared of failing in any shape, form or fashion. I know that no matter how hard I fall, God will give me the courage and confidence to get up and keep fighting.

This mentality allows me to live a bold and adventurous life, which I’m trying to inspire others to do as well.

It allowed me to recently quit the most lucrative job of my professional life. It made me realize that I wasn’t being true to myself and utilizing the gifts that God had blessed me with.

Since I’m not scared of failure, I was able to take a radical leap of faith and walk away from “the real world.” Now, I raise my two-year-old son and write.

My thought process: I’ve fallen before, and I got up. I know I’m going to “fail” again, and I’ll get up again.

I firmly believe that failing is part of the process. It defines who we are and determines our destiny.

Since I was convinced that someone a lot smarter than me expressed that more eloquently … I typed it into Google (of course). I was reminded of this greatness from Max Lucado’s book, Fearless:

Fear never wrote a symphony or poem, negotiated a peace treaty or cured a disease. Fear never pulled a family out of poverty or a country out of bigotry. Fear never saved a marriage or a business. Courage did that. Faith did that. People who refused to consult or cower to their timidities did that. But fear itself? Fear herds us into a prison and slams the doors.

Steve Jobs also exemplified this in his 2005 commencement address at Stanford (he also tackled fear No. 6: Death and dying):

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

I followed mine, and I’m not looking back.

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